Canadian baseball player, Yunel Escobar, has apologised for causing offence through having what was perceived as a homophobic slur, written on his face during a match last weekend.
The Toronro Blue Jays also announced that he has been suspended for three games, and that his pay will be directed to GLAAD and the You Can Play project.
Mr Escobar made a statement: “It was nothing intentional directed at anyone in particular,” Escobar said through a translator at a news conference. “I don’t have anything against homosexuals. I have friends that are gay.
“In reality, I would like to ask for [forgiveness] for all of those offended by this.”
Escobar also said that the use of the word was misinterpreted, reported NESN.
“I didn’t mean for this to be misinterperted by the gay community,” he said. “It’s something that’s said around Latinos, and it’s not something that’s meant to be offensive.”
Major League Baseball also confirmed that they are to investigate the incident
Yunel Escobar, 29, of the Toronto Blue Jays, wore eyeblack, a grease worn by players to reduce sun-glare, emblazoned with the words “tu ere” and “maricon”, which translates loosely into English as “You are a faggot”.
The Blue Jays previously released a statement saying that they “do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game.”
“The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter,” the team said in a statement Monday evening.
An image of the shortstop, taken in the match against Boston, can be viewed here, courtesy of Twitter user @James_in_TO.